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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Smart Car... Maybe Not

Smart car turns out to be a dumb car....

In my opinion one of the wittiest license plates I have ever seen! Smart Car

Thursday, December 15, 2011


1991 Acura Integra with a full body kit, 18 inch rims, Z fenders, turbo, lowering springs and shocks, full 3" exhaust, overbore done on engine, upgraded cams, stage 3 clutch pressure plate and flywheel. 



Here the 1991 Acura is pictured with a 1977 Chevy Camaro that was also restored complete with a .30 over 4 bold main. 

Rice meets Muscle

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Cadillac CTS

1991 Bmw 3 Series Convertible 5 speed

Bmw 3 Series that had massive internal engine damage caused from two valves colliding with the top of the piston after timing jumped a tooth. Unbelievably it still ran alright but you could definitely tell something was wrong!

Audi A6 4.2L

1989 Mercedes Benz Diesel

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan

Ann Arbor Michigan

Here is a video taken at night of the Ann Arbors skyline and the University of Michigan.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Monday, December 5, 2011

Freeway Driving

Michigan Highway
Freeway driving in Michigan on I96

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Audi 100

Audi 100 Quattro fully loaded and driven up from Florida. 

Land Rover Discover SE7

1998 Land Rover Discover SE7
I will be discussing further the specifications and repairs of many differend Land Rover models. If you have a specific question beforehand please let me know.

Monday, November 28, 2011


I found all of the parts to fix a Nissan Xterra at half the cost through the website below:

Performance Parts

Audi This link has some of the best deals on performance parts!

Audi A6 4.2 Jump start Rainbow for helping a stranger

Right after jump starting this Pontiac with my Audi A6 4.2 a rainbow appeared :)

Acura Integra with body kit and many performance mods!

1991 Acura Integra with a full body kit, 18 inch rims, Z fenders, lowering springs and shocks, full 3" exhaust, overbore done on engine, upgraded cams, stage 3 clutch pressure plate and flywheel. 

Restored Honda Automatic Motorcycle


Rare Honda Automatic motorcycle after partial restoration. The transmission has two speeds, one for city cruising and one for freeway. It is pictured with aftermarket exhaust pipes but otherwise is all original.

Saab 900 TURBO

1989 Saab 900 Turbo after restoration.

1992 Audi 100 2.8

Pearl White 1992 Audi 100 5 Speed manual with a 2.8 liter engine.

Diesel Mercedes

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Audi A6 and A8 Transmission Problems

Audi has done a marvelous job putting together the tiptronic transmission  but it does have certain problems that make it a very costly repair. Audi does not recommend a transmission fluid change and it is a lifetime fluid but I would recommend changing it! After about 180k you can visibly see clutch wear material in the fluid. This clutch material will slowly start wearing on all moving parts at around 120k depending on driving habits, city/freeway driving. In many cases the actual clutch plate will wear to a point (typically 2nd gear and then first gear) that it sheers off its metal back plating. This will cause a loud clunk in the transmission and simultaneously the ECU for the transmission will flash the computer into limp mode.  

Dodge Neon Description

2001 Dodge Neon ES. It has new rear shocks/struts, tune up, aftermarket CD player, newer tires, new rear bushings, newer CV joints, new air filter, fresh oil change, updated headlight bulbs and many other new parts. It gets around 32 +/- depending on city and freeway driving. It runs and drives great with no shakes or noises of any kind. The oil has ALWAYS been changed out with Mobile one Synthetic oil and ½ of a bottle of Lucas Oil. It runs very quietly and shifts extremely smooth. It has a grey cloth interior and a metallic silver exterior. The interior is in great shape and only has two small pin sized holes in the passenger seat but are not noticeable. The door panels, dash, and all other interior parts are in perfect condition. All in all it is a great car that is both reliable, economical and looks great. Please email me if you have any question and thanks for looking!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

2002 Dodge Neon

This is a stock picture of a 2002 Dodge Neon

  • 16 valve DOHC engine
  • Automatic transmission
  • CD/MP3 player with AUX hook-up
  • Power steering
  • 138k miles

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mercedes Engineering

Mercedes engineering at its best in this 1992 Mercedes Benz 300E 4-Matic. I know it isn't an Audi but when testing both the 4-Matic and Quattro systems, neither showed a significant increase in acceleration on both straight and flat, upward grade, or cornering. Smooth shifting, sleek lines and an inline 6 cyl brings the classic 300E to the top of my list for quality classic luxury.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I will start out by stating that you DO NOT HAVE TO REMOVE THE TIMING BELT TO REPLACE THE TIMING CHAIN TENSIONER. As so many guides including the Audi manual itself states that you have to essentially remove everything, timing belt, bumper, radiator, etc.. just to replace the timing chain tensioner. This is not the case at all and I have performed the repair multiple times in under an hour. The symptoms of a worn out timing chain tensioner are caused by one of two things: The first is the wearing out of the pads or deterioration of the high strength plastic they use. This will cause a consistent grinding, rough idle, low power, and the valves will not be correctly timed at all rpm's. The second type of failure is the hyd piston itself. If this fails it the timing chain will be fluctuating from completely compressed to complete extension. This will typically cause the timing chain to scrape against the valve cover. If you put your hand on the top of the valve cover you will easily be able to feel the metal on metal scraping.  I will give a general walk through below:

  1. Remove plastic Audi cover
  2. Remove all wiring and coil packs from top of valve cover
  3. Remove bolts that connect the metal pipe to the left side of the valve cover
  4. Disconnect any air or vacuum lines making it very easy to remove the valve cover. When removing valve cover it must be lifted straight up off the studs and can not be angled.
  5. After the valve cover is removed loosen all of the caps for both camshafts.
  6. Remove the first 3 camshaft caps that are nearest to the timing chain tensioner
  7. Be sure to keep tension on the timing belt to avoid any slipping
  8. Remove the bolts that are holding the timing chain tensioner in place
  9. Carefully angle both cams upward lifting the timing chain tensioner with them. This will take a little bit of time to finagle it out but it will come out without damaging any of the cam bearings as long as you take your time. You have to trust me though because the first one I removed this way seemed almost impossible until I stepped back and took a look, it reminds me of a the brain teasers you used to play with when you were young. 
  10. Once the old tensioner is removed slip the new one in and make sure it slides in level with the base it is bolted too because a high pressure oil line runs from the head into the tensioner itself. 
  11. When laying the cams back into place do not use force (pressure will be holding them up a small amount) 
  12. Once you have the bolts started for the cam caps SLOWLY start to tighten each cap a very small amount moving from one end to the other. It will damage the cams if you do not tighten each cap bit by bit to bring the camshaft to its normal position. 
  13. Now that the cam is lying in place and the tensioner bolts are tight you can proceed to torque the camshaft bolts to the proper torque depending on what DOHC engine you have. 
  14. Install the valve cover 
  15. Connect all vacuum lines and bolt the metal antifreeze line back to the valve cover
  16. Install each coil pack and connect the corresponding harness (the coil packs are not cylinder specific so you can mix them up)
  17. I would recommend an oil change before initial start up
  18. Start it up and after about 10 seconds the tensioner will build pressure and be back to new!
Let me know if you have any questions and feel free to comment!

AUDI ENGINES Running Regular 87 Octane Fuel

With gas prices so high these days one of the biggest questions I am asked is if an Audi engine is capable of running a lower grade fuel. It is very difficult to see the result of not running the recommended 91 octane fuel over a long period of time because no one typically runs regular fuel through the entire life of their new Audi, especially the first 100k. After many engine tear-downs I have managed to gather a collection of data showing what parts will break down first if a lower grade fuel us used while proving the fact that lower grade fuel will exponentially lower the performance of the engine leading to Lifter/Follower failure, Camshaft lobe wear, Valve seat carbon build up leading to compression loss, Cylinder ring failure and eventually total loss of compression on all cylinders. Typically the cylinders located towards the firewall tend to see the results of low grade fuel first. This is due to the increase of heat both being further away from the cooler antifreeze after leaving the radiator and the heat that is held by the metal of the transmission during longer trips. This heat builds as the engine slowly transfers its energy into the transmission and everything else that it can. The heat of the engine will keep decreasing the time it takes for the engine to prematurely ignite the fuel. You may have noticed if you have ever used regular fuel on a long trip in a car that is built to have a higher octane, after four hours of driving or so it will become sluggish and less responsive than at lower temperatures. 

Destruction is what WILL happen if you run regular fuel often. The reason for this premature wear simply for the fact of using a lower grade fuel is extra resistance on the camshaft(s), pistons, valves and essentially everything that is involved with the ignition process. The difference between PREMIUM fuel and Regular is the rate at which you can compress the petrol before it ignites. Typically well built engines such as the ones Audi produces are a very high compression ratio compared to most coincidentally requiring a more expensive fuel in order to avoid premature detonation during the compression stroke. This is often referred to as knock or ping and will take thousands of miles off the life of your engine. When the fuel prematurely ignites before it is intended too, all of that momentum the engine is carrying is now meeting an intense resistance going in the opposite direction or applying most of the pressure directly on the crankshaft, rod, piston and corresponding bearings. This is the most damaging to the engine because the blunt of the resistance is being forced down at the exact time the rod and crankshaft is at TDC, "when the piston is at the very top of the compression or exhaust stroke." Now all of the pressure is being applied over and over wearing down your engine with every stroke...thousands of times per minute. 

After personally looking at many engines, documenting the results of consistent regular fuel usage and seeing consistently what parts wear first I have came to the conclusion that the cam lobes immediately begin to see the effects of regular fuel within the first 50 gallons. As the cam lobes begin to wear down the intake and exhaust stroke begin to decrease lowering performance. The camshaft lobes then begin to cut through the valve lifter slowly wearing down until the camshaft lobe makes contact with the snap ring in the lifter resulting in a terribly loud TICK. This is usually where most of the vehicles are taken in but in some cases the heat effects the cylinders, rings and valves more than the camshaft and lifters. Either way it is my recommendation that you run at least at 91 or greater octane rating to eliminate any chances of premature detonation and giving your Audi engine the long life it deserves. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to let me know! 

Thursday, September 15, 2011


An extremely common problem on Audi engines and more specifically the 1.8 turbo is the coil packs going bad or becoming intermittent. This will cause a major misfire and depending on how many coil packs have gone bad, in some cases the car may not even maintain an idle. Aftermarket coil packs from Autozone or Advance Auto will work but many times over I have seen them fail months after installation. One of the reasons for this is an incorrect gap for the spark plug. This will cause a short in the coil pack overtime leading to premature failure. 
The steps to fixing this problem for good is to first: 

  1. Scan the Audi for codes to determine what coil pack or coil packs are bad. 
  2. Purchase new (NOT USED) coil packs, aprox cost is $29.00.
  3. Replace or check the gap on all spark plugs. When replacing the spark plugs with new ones still go through the process of checking the gap, in many cases I have found new spark plugs that have had a spark gap that was not even close to stock specifications.  

How to replace the coil packs:

  • Remove plastic black Audi cover on top of engine by using a Philips head screwdriver to turn the screw 180 degrees to the right while applying downward pressure.
  • Each coil pack has its own small wire harness that you will need to remove. Apply pressure to the tab that is right where the harness plugs into the coil pack. While applying pressure slowly pull back and it will pop off. Sometimes this takes patients and the clips break very easily so take your time.
  • You will now see four coil packs if you are working on the 1.8L turbo model. Each coil pack has two bolts that will need a hex head tip to remove. 
  • After the bolts are removed slowly pull out the coil pack.
  • You are now ready to install the new coil pack! Slide it in and follow the directions backward. 
The coil packs are not cylinder specific so do not worry about interfering with timing or anything else for that matter. Good Luck!


AUDI A6 ENGINE REVIEW for the 2.7T and 4.2L 

I will start out by saying what a great car in general the A6 is from 1997 to 2004. The C5 body style has been completely refined from the older 1994-1997 C4 style that was so popular. Audi was able to bring a somewhat lightweight body for the size, keeping curves and giving a very futuristic feel to the car both inside and out. I am writing this review based on my personal experience from owning, driving, and tearing into these well built machines. 

Starting backward with the 4.2L V8 DOHC engine that they somehow managed to stuff under the hood of this A6. Out of all the options for engines I am most fond of their 4.2L for the simple fact of immediate torque and the distinctive growl that is just unattainable with the smaller liter engines. The 4.2 has consistent power through all stages of acceleration and the small cylinder v8 does well under load yet will still purr on the freeway with a great cruising speed around 80  mph. This is my first choice as an option for the A6 although the 2.7T has more potential for increasing power giving you more bang for your buck if that is the route you are looking at.

The 2.7T is a work of art and similarly to the 4.2L it is crammed under the hood of the short nosed A6. Both the 2.7T and 4.2L are comparable in width except for the extra room the K03 turbos take up. If work is ever needed on these cars expect to be pulling off piping in order to get at anything other than the nice shiny emblem on the top of the engine. The way both post and pre boost piping is routed makes it one of the most difficult engines to work on and also makes it prone to leaks typically from the turbo to the intake. All of this looks great though when you open the hood but it was not built with the everyday mechanic in mind.  Besides the mechanics of everything, the 2.7T is an extremely well balanced engine. The more lightweight V6 gives the car a lighter feel and during acceleration it is the opposite of under powered. During the first initial moments of acceleration you do feel a slight lag until the K03 turbos build enough to satisfy the 2.7L thirst for air. After boost is built be ready for a consistent pull through all gears with the torque feeling steady up until about 500 rpm before red line and if you choose to upgrade to the K04 turbo and upgrade/re-program the ecu with something from APR, you will feel that power to the limit of the engine. As a stock 2.7T it is a well built power plant by itself but with a simple upgrade such as Ko4 turbos you will create a whole new car. In my opinion it is well worth the investment. The cost to horsepower is by far the best deal not to mention tying it all together in a sleek, option packed German piece of engineering! 

My conclusion is that if you want a an A6 ready to go that gives you consistent power with a nice roar the 4.2L is for you. On the other hand if you would like a well powered car with the potential of being an extraordinarily powerful car with minimal investment then the 2.7T is the right choice. 

Saturday, April 30, 2011


This is normally a time consuming task and would devote 6-8 hours to do the job right. The following is a list of everything needed:

First and foremost you need a timing belt kit. Always replace the water pump and tensioner when replacing the timing belt. These kits can cost anywhere from $99.00 on ebay to $250 for a quality brand name kit. I also sell these kits so if you need any pricing or would like to order just comment or call me (my phone number is listed on my first post on this blog.)

These kits will include the gasket for the water pump, tensioner "consists of small pulley and a cylinder to keep tension on the belt at all times, and the belt itself. The belt itself is a notched unit and the notches align with the single cam shaft gear and the crankshaft gear. The camshaft gear is the larger one on the top of the motor that controls the timing of the valves and is also connected under the valve cover with another cam almost exactly the same through a chain, two gears "almost like a bike sprocket" and a hyd tensioner. The timing belt drives all of this and is essential to the timing of the engine. If this belt breaks while the car is running the valves will impact the tops of one or more pistons ruining the engine. I will discuss more in regard to the hyd tensioner that works with the timing chain on your A4 if you let me know. I have replaced many and know exactly what symptoms to look for. These parts are very expensive so you want to make sure before you replace it!


Previously I had discussed Timing belt replacement on a 2002-2005 Audi A4 1.8 T, this was a brief snapshot of how to accomplish such a task. I will now take it one step further and give detailed instructions on every step from start to finish. EVERY SCREW, NUT, BOLT ETC... I know when I was attempting to do this for the first time, even though I had help and someone looking over my shoulder I still had issues on certain tricks to remove these hard to repair routine maintenance items.

I will accomplish this entire walk-through throughout multiple posts so please be patient and comment if you would like instructions further than the point I have summarized. 


Thursday, April 28, 2011


Here is a list of the supplies that are essential to the removal of the engine. Some parts may be rusty, "mainly the exhaust system" and will possibly need improvisation.

1. Cherry picker "engine removal jack" preferably a two ton.
2. Floor jack
3. Jack stands/wood blocks
4. Full deep well/normal 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch socket set.
5. Full torque spec set
6. Multiple short and long screwdrivers


AUDI A4 2002-2005 1.8 Turbo Engine Removal

My Next blog posts will be a walk through on the Audi A4 1.8 Turbo 5 speed engine removal from start to finish. The clutch installation will also be included along with common problems and parts that will need to be replaced.

Post Timing Belt Replacement Audi 1.8 T 02-05

After the timing belt is changed and everything is put back together it is time to start her up! But before hand the main thing that must be monitored closely is the coolant level. Because the system was partially drained during the belt change it is very possible that the system will have a bubble.

The term for this process is BURPING.

1. Make sure the reservoir is completely full and leave off the cap.
2. Start up the car for 45 seconds or so then shut off
3. Let the car sit for a moment and check the fluid level
4. Squeeze the coolant hoses, you should hear a bubbling or gurgle
5. Start up the car again and this time let it run for 2-5 minutes while keeping an eye on both the temperature gauge and the coolant level.
6. After the 2-5 minutes has passed let the car sit for 15 minutes
7. Start the car and take it for a short test drive while keeping a steady eye on the temperature gauge, after check everything again and if all the levels look good then your coolant system is ready to go and you have another 100k before changing that darn belt again! Hope these posts helped you and please comment if you would like anymore information. 

Audi 1.8 T Timing Belt replacement

Now that the bumper, radiator, belts, hoses and lines have been removed along with the timing belt cover itself it is time to REPLACE THE BELT!
It really helps to have a cam clamp. This allows you to keep your hands off the cams while you install the new belt.
I would also recommend a type of heat safe sylicone sealent for the water pump. the gasket you get with the kit works very well by-itself but it is better to be safe than sorry.

The water pump and tension-er are installed first. There will be a notch on the tension-er to pull it back enough to make room to install the belt. Keep in mind to check, check and triple check that the cams and crankshaft are aligned.

ALIGNMENT OF CAM SHAFT AND CRANK SHAFT: When aligning the cam's and crank shaft while installing the new belt the biggest thing to keep an eye on is the small dots on the cam shaft and crank. The cam shafts will align with a small arrow on the valve cover so make sure the valve cover is installed before trying to align the cams. While the cams are aligned on the arrows slowly slip the belt over the gears while the crank shaft is aligned on the small arrow on the block. This is much easier said then done.... and will probably take a few tries before it is aligned perfect.

After the belt is installed take a deep well socket and ratchet to the crank bolt. Do not loosen the bolt but crank the motor over by hand a few revolutions. This will insure that the engine is timed correctly. After you crank it over by hand use the starter motor without the coils on the plugs. Crank it over a few times, not long but enough to make sure everything is moving correctly.

You can now start to assemble the entire front of the car back together...

I will continue with after assembly start up in my next post.

Steps in Replacing 2002-2005 Audi A4 1.8T timing belt

I will give a brief walkthrough of what to do in the process of replacing the timing belt of a 2002 to 2005 Audi A4 with a 1.8 L Turbo:
Supplies.....Jacks, Jack stands, full socket set, full torque spec set, breaker bar, some bandages for bloody knuckles and misc screwdrivers and such. When replacing the timing belt always replace the WATER PUMP, TIMING BELT TENSION-ER, AND A NEW Belt. The replacement of these parts now can save a huge headache in the future...
The first step is to: Slightly jack up the front of the car, Remove all covers on the top of the motor, Remove all connections that you can get your hands on.

Step Two: The front bumper will have to be removed and it is attached to the each fender along with eight long bolts located on the front of the bumper. The inter-cooler is also located in this area and the connections must be removed.

Step Three: Once the bumper is removed then you can start to remove the timing cover. After the timing cover is removed you can then align the cams and crank shaft while slowly removing the timing belt. Be careful that your fingers do not get caught in the gears because tension can sometimes still be held under the stretching of the belt.


More specific repair issues! AUDI PROBLEMS :)

Audi's are great cars, the awd quattro system is one of the best in my mind. But they come with a lot of up-keep issues. One of which I will cover is the timing belt change. This can prove to be a very difficult task but with the proper knowledge of someone who has made the mistakes before it can be quite easy.